Deceptive Pumpkins

Some ducks found a good feeding place in the reeds growing in a quiet stream.

A group of boys laid a plan to catch them. They began by placing pumpkins in the water and letting the stream carry them down to where the ducks were swimming. At first, the ducks were nervous and moved away, but it wasn’t long before they found there was no harm in the pumpkins and they ignored them as they floated nearby them.

Then came the second part of the boys’ plan. Each boy scooped out the inside of a pumpkin and made two small holes to see through. Then they placed the hollow pumpkins over their heads and quietly slipped into the stream. Allowing only the orange decoys to show above the water, they moved slowly and quietly towards their victims.

Suddenly, when the boys were in position, each boy grasped a duck’s legs from under the water and each captured an unsuspecting prey.

In much the same way, the devil sends deceptive “pumpkins” of temptation down the river of life.  At first, we think we can live with them and experience no harm. Then, often when it is too late, we find ourselves in the clutches of an evil habit or sinful activity.

*  How often has one “tried” the “pumpkin” of a “harmless” drug with the thought that just once won’t hurt?

*  How often has just one look at the “pumpkin” of an “adult” magazine or movie fed a deep-seated urge which became irresistible?

*  How often has the “pumpkin” of a desire to be “part of the group” led to many sinful activities?

*  How often has the “pumpkin” of the “good life” of others caused many to be envious and seek to “keep up with the Jones’s”?

*  How often has the “pumpkin” of the pride of life caused many to lie, lie again, cheat, steal etc?

*  How often has the “pumpkin” of personal pride caused anger, grudges, false gossip, even physical harm to others?

*  How often has the “pumpkin” of “Me, me, me, me” caused loss of fellowship with God and deviation from His will?

*  How often has the “pumpkin” of self-sufficiency caused us failure and loss of the experience of God’s all-sufficiency?

*  How often does the “pumpkin” of “circumstances” cause us to doubt God’s care?

 What other “pumpkins” do we need to avoid?

Thankfully, for the Christian,
confession to a loving heavenly Father,
together with repentance and a dependence on His enabling,
can break that sin.
We find forgiveness, cleansing and power to resist further attacks,
but we must be vigilant.
We must put on the whole armour of God
and stand in the victory gained for us by our Saviour.

#  The devil is a masterful artist. He camouflages evil to make it look good.

#  If you don’t want to trade with the devil, keep out of his shops.

#  One reason sin flourishes is that we treat it as cream puffs instead of a rattle snake.

#  One sin tolerated and enjoyed will make way for every other.

Sin cannot be reduced to manageable proportions.


About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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  1. Rob Barkman says:


    What a wonderful lesson! Over and over again in the Bible we read about the dangerous nature of sin in our lives. But, sad to say, Satan presents sin to us as something that is innocent and desirous. The most famous example of this was in the original sin in the garden…. although it brought death to Adam and Eve, it was presented as somenthing that was pretty and desired to make themselves wise…..

    What a much needed subject to be presented…. thank you for allowing the Lord to use you in this ministry…. over the past several months I have been blessed to read and learn from it. May He continue to bless you.



    • Yes, Rob, he is a master of camouflage but we are “not ignorant of his devices” and neither are we any more under his dominion . . . as long as we allow Christ to stay in control.
      What a Saviour!
      PS Thanks for your encouragement. I have been wondering if I should continue as it is rather time consuming.


  2. jelillie says:

    Thanks Angela! I found you while reading Ann and Deb’s blogs. This really spoke to my heart. I have a whole list of “pumpkins” God has told me I have to stay away from. Perhaps in and of themselves they don’t seem to bad.
    Most others would say “Oh come on your being so legalistic”
    But for me they are doorways to deeper waters that will drown me. As Solomon said sometimes “it is the little foxes that spoil the vines.” JE


    • Hi jelillie. Welcome.
      I think one of the most productive lies of the devil is to convince us that *good* things can’t be wrong, but we know that ANYTHING that comes between us and our God IS wrong – and that includes many, many good things. We certainly need to guard against anything that would give the devil the tiniest little foothold
      Our great God will honour you for your stance and continue to bless you and use you to bless others.


  3. Pingback: When a Pumpkin Isn’t a Pumpkin « Christianity 201

  4. Ann says:

    Thank you, Angela

    This is a beautiful post!! Such a wonderful illustration of how we end up deep in trouble because we ignore the ‘small’ sins. Even after our Lord warned about the ‘little leaven’ that affects the whole bread. These tiny things have a way to become elephants overnight. Why, oh why, do we continue to court danger?

    ” Sin cannot be reduced to manageable proportions.”
    I am very careful about what I eat but there are days I feel like adding a bit that’s not on the list of foods I normally eat. I can enjoy the ‘sin’ for a moment and suffer the consequences later or I can stick to what will keep me out of the doctor’s chair. It’s a choice I get to make. Sin is pretty much the same… I can walk the straight and narrow or bend the rules a little and find myself going full speed down the slippery slope.

    Best to heed the words of wisdom in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

    Blessings much and thanks again for sharing this masterpiece.

    On alert,


    • >> “It’s a choice I get to make”
      How true! Sometimes we tend to blame others or even blame the devil, but the blame lies squarely with ourselves.
      It is a choice I get to make – and I have the almighty power of the sovereign living Christ at my disposal. I am “more than a conqueror” but if I choose to make the wrong choice I am already defeated.
      Thankfully, my loving Father doesn’t abandon me for that, but lovingly draws me back to Himself where full forgiveness and cleansing awaits me.
      What a Saviour!

      “On alert” – I like that!


  5. Debbie says:

    I so appreciate this post and the comments. My biggest struggle is slipping into those bad attitudes and negative thinking. Some will tell me that I’m only human . . .and I know , I know. But I have Jesus to help me, to take those things to, so the pumpkins don’t grab hold of me and keep me that way. How I need Him!
    God bless you and your ministry!


    • Hi Debbie. I agree it is easy to excuse our wrong behaviour with an “I’m only human” but really the excuse doesn’t hold water since our great God has supplied us with ALL the resources of heaven and EVERYTHING we need to combat temptation.
      It is easier said than done, and I have to admit I fail often, but the truth is that we only fail when we fail to yield control of our lives to the One who is abundantly able and willing to give us victory.
      >> “How I need Him!” AMEN!
      Without Him I am useless and hopeless and defeated.
      With Him (or under His control) satan is defeated!


  6. pbus1 says:

    Again, the Scripture that I rarely hear taught these days, comes to mind. II Corinthians 6:17 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” Just as parents teach children at a very young age not to play with matches, because they just might get burnt, so our heavenly Father sends message after message, reminding us to flee from sin and sinful lusts. He also reminds us, that we are in this world, but not of this world. This is just another wonderful reminder! I pray that God would forgive me for the sin of omission. Thank you for sharing!



    • Sadly, Paulette, there are many Scriptures we hardly ever hear taught these days: repentance, separation, holiness, to mention just a few. We see and hear those who claim the name of Christ doing things unheard of just a few decades ago. Acceptable standards have changed!
      I thank God for those preachers who remain faithful to the Word and I pray for those who teach in Bible Colleges that the preachers of tomorrow will indeed be men who stand for
      the Truth.


  7. Heather says:

    A very good post.
    In my own life, I tend to struggle most strongly with sins of wrongful attitude and motive. Other deceptive pumpkins are things that are actually “good” yet have been wrongly prioritized in my heart.
    It is interesting to me that “self-sufficiency” is included in this list as this is the second time the past week someone has pointed it out as a potential idol/stumbling block. It is especially notable because, in the US, many people react to the idea of govt-funded social programs and economic hardship with insistence on building a largely “self-sufficient” lifestyle. While I believe it is good to not place our trust in man’s devices, I do see how dangerous such a focus can be if I fool myself into thinking that I’m trusting in God’s provision when the reality is that I’m placing faith in my own ability.

    Thank you for the warning and reminder regarding vigilance!


    • Hi Heather
      Thanks for dropping by. I agree with you that a Christian sins more regarding wrongful attitudes and motives. I am also so very conscious of sins of omission – things I know I SHOULD do but don’t.

      I guess my biggest failure is in self-sufficiency. Even though I know I can do NOTHING of myself, and even though my loving Father has proven He is abundantly capable of providing all I need and enabling me to achieve in HIS power, I still tend to want to run my
      own course and do things on my own. How grieved He must be when I ignore His presence and His promised resources!

      In Christ


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